For a comic called “Iron Man: Noir” there isn’t much Iron Man or noir, at least not yet. I’m not sure if there’ll ever be much noir. It’s been replaced by pulp. So, rather than some brooding detective story, expect to see Tony Stark killing giant snakes, exploring exotic lands, and battling Nazis. There will be more Iron Man, but this issue does just fine without much of the clunky armor.
Scott Snyder’s recently caused a bit of a sensation with his new Vertigo series, American Vampire. Its first issue has already sold out, and rightly so. But, Snyder’s still pretty new to Marvel, and hasn’t gotten a chance to play around with continuity yet. However, as this issue shows, he’s done his homework. There are several easter eggs throughout this issue for the longterm Iron Man fan, while keeping things totally accessible. Snyder realizes that the entire Marvel universe is at his command, even in this reimagining, so you can expect to see characters that don’t normally inhabit Tony’s world to show up.
This is a comic that will probably get buried under the slew of other Iron Man comics published to saturate the market in time for the new Iron Man film. It shouldn’t. Snyder keeps things too interesting, the unexpected twist of a character perishing early on is proof of that. There was even an exchange of dialogue between Tony and Jarvis that fascinated me. The conversation was about how their time, 1939, was very dark, with a rotten economic climate and America on the brink of war. Tony argues that the people just want to hear tales of escapist adventures, while Jarvis responds that the people need something better. I’m not sure if Scott Snyder will pursue that theme, writing some sort of commentary on the importance of stories in troubled times, but that he even makes us think about such things is outstanding.